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Dan Froomkin

A lot of you want me to comment on Dan Froomkin losing his blog here at the Washington Post. The problem is, I don't have a lot to say. The higher-ups don't consult me on personnel decisions. I don't know if the decision was ideological in nature or, like the retirement party going on 60 feet behind me (the fifth or sixth this week), an outcome of the terrible economic forces that have triggered no fewer than four rounds of newsroom buyouts.

On a personal level, I've always appreciated White House Watch and respected Dan enormously. He was right at a time when I, and many others, were wrong. He said true things when saying them was very hard. I don't know that there's a greater compliment you can give a journalist.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 19, 2009; 3:54 PM ET
 
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Comments

Ezra, I was so angry yesterday when I heard about Dan, I cancelled my subscription and even removed WaPo from my bookmarks. Swore I'd never patronize the Washington Post again. Then I remembered you and your column, which - along with Matt Ygelsias at ThinkProgress - keep me apprised of some complex stuff. I'm still angry as hell at most things WaPo, and I wish you were still at American Prospect, but I will continue to read your column at least.

Posted by: sherirogers | June 19, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Hi Ezra, I had high hopes that you Greg S., and Dan F., could host a vlog on wapo.com and provide a weekly roundup of the important news and commentary for the week. Actually, create an innovative product that would make wapo website more likely to draw hits. I guess you and Greg could do it alone, but Dan's insightful commentary and willingness to question Obama's policies as well as taking on the increasingly irrelevant repiglicans would be a big lift. I know it is not politic for you to question your new overlords, so I don't expect you to criticize their personnel decisions. I have enjoyed your column so far and hope it goes well. Of course Froomkin's blog was one of the most popular on the wapo site and look where that got him...

Posted by: srw3 | June 19, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

You'd have been better off writing nothing at all. "The higher-ups don't consult me on personnel decisions" is a bit of a ridiculous thing to write. No one would assume they do. What most people would assume is that, absent some good reason for the firing (and you say you have no idea why he was fired), you would disagree with the decision. I guess you're satisfied the Post must have had their reasons.

Posted by: lowellfield | June 19, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I expect you to do what you just did.

Pretend it is a non-issue. Cash the payroll check to pay for the new townhouse that lets you have convenient access to the company. Write articles that will be subjected to Hiatt's famously thorough fact checking. Be a team player.

I expect you to do what it takes when you decided to take WaPo's money. That's what it means to be a grownup. You obliged yourself to respectfully represent your employer. I've raised my own children to respect no less.

The other grownups out in the blogosphere expect nothing less. Taking a paycheck doesn't give one the option to demean the hand that signs that check. You will conform to the company because that is what you signed up to do. I'm sure you never expected to be held to no other standard. If you did... well let's not broach that topic just yet.

If you had issues with that grownup reality you'd not have taken this position.

That's what I expect. That you'll take your responsibilities seriously.

Enjoy. The grey suit rack is down the hall and to your right. The far right.

Posted by: DubiousAdvocate | June 19, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

This is a major cop-out.

Posted by: jonjonjonb | June 20, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I think that Ezra's second paragraph makes his position clear. If he said outright that he thought this was a bad decision and got fired as a result, what good would that do?

Posted by: daniel32 | June 20, 2009 3:20 AM | Report abuse

Well, Ezra, I wasn't one of those who claimed that you moving to WaPo was a sell out. But I have to admit it looks as if it was. I haven't found anything really interesting at your new blog yet (and it looks like I'm not the only one, regarding the low number of comments!). Some good roundups, and wonkish explaining, ok, but your distinct voice now sounds so muffled. You used to be much more outspoken! And that you now don't even dare to add your opinion to the firing of Froomkin speaks volumes. Really, sry, but you're not the same anymore.

Posted by: Gray62 | June 20, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

This isn't much of a post, but I do appreciate the difficulty of publicly calling out one's employer. That said, maybe Gray62 has a point. I hope not because that would be sad. But I'm definitely going to keep it in mind as I continue reading.

Posted by: Chris_O | June 20, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

You're next Ezra, mark my word.


Posted by: stabekk | June 20, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"I do appreciate the difficulty of publicly calling out one's employer."
Of course, Chris! But it's the nature of a blog to express opinions, and the readers expect the blogger not to be afraid to add his two cents on important issues. And just look at what Dana Milbank dared to say, who, after all, surely has a higher salary to lose than Ezra:

"I should point out, not as a matter of opinion but as a matter of fact, that it would have been a far more popular move to keep Froomkin and sack Alexander."

Strong words! Shall we expect less from Ezra?

Posted by: Gray62 | June 21, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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